Students get boost for exams

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BY DENISE SHERMAN, Staff Writer/Eastern Wake News

EASTERN WAKE COUNTY - Students taking AP and End-of-Course exams are getting treats to encourage them to do well.
"Kids like stuff," said Ericka Lucas, the principal at East Wake High's School of Arts, Education and Global Studies. Lucas saw evidence of that last year after handing out pencils with the school name on it and with an encouraging message before last year's EOC. "It was amazing how any kids who were absent that day came up and said, 'Where's my pencil?'"
"That small motivation can put them in the frame of mind, 'Okay I need to focus, here's what I know,'"she said.
So this year, Lucas is going all out. She's organized an EOC rally for May 19th, a week before exams start on the May 27. She's soliciting local businesses to give water bottles, gift cards and Mudcats tickets that will be given to the students on the day of the rally.
Students also will have a chance to vote on "teacher superlatives," Lucas said.
"Those pencils let me know," said Lucas. "It can be the smallest token, but they like it and they will respond to it."
The Knightdale Chamber of Commerce had a similar idea.
The chamber is putting together 48 goodie bags for Knightdale High school students who are taking the AP exam. Businesses donated gift items last week while students took the tests. They continue test-taking this week.
Knightdale 100, a grassroots education support group, is trying to get more students to take the AP exam at Knightdale High School. This year, they organized tutorial sessions during April and solicited for tutors from the community and refreshments for the sessions from parents.
"It's a way for them to say, 'Way to go and to support the students," said Tami Sakiewicz, PTA president and member of Knightdale 100.
"It's very beneficial for them to take that exam," said Sakiewicz. "They experience all the rigor that comes from studying for college exams."
Sakiewicz said the emphasis the organization put on the exam has paid off. Students benfitted from tutors in Biology and English - N.C. State college students and an East Regional Librarian. And the sessions spurred high school teachers to offer tutoring at school, she said.
Lucas said in addition to the EOC pep rally, the school is holding prep sessions for the exam called EOC jam sessions. The tutorial sessions after school or during lunch started April 26 and continue until testing begins.


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